Friday, November 24, 2006

Beyond thankful

I know its been a few days and I said I would continue my sob story from my travel day but in light of the draining last couple of days Ive had with Jaxon getting sicker and harder to feed/handle, and with my immune system getting weaker, I must take a break from thinking cleverly or I might pass out by my effort. So instead I want to inspire you...not with anything Ive done but by a girl I worked with in Africa. Ive mentioned her before, Terra Moore from Canada. She is still over in Uganda (we left early September) and she has really made it her mission to discover what the needs are where she is serving and do her best to fill them in as she can. She is young, fervent and making a huge difference in many different areas of Ugandan life. Here is an excerpt from her latest email letter.

"I have been starting to work with a women’s group. This group of women truly touched me. I have seen quite a few women’s groups. Often they know they need help, but they aren’t able to motivate themselves with out being led, basically holding their hands. They are from the village where we dug the well. I was interacting and listening to these women a lot when I was there, so I just kind of threw out the idea of them joining together and starting a women’s group. Next time I came back to the village, they had been having meetings every night, they had elected a counsel. They had discussed the problems they all face, and actually starting thinking about how if they work together for the common good, they are all better off. It was amazing, they had been writing songs, and had been practicing singing them together. I was so inspired, especially because of these women’s faith and hope. It is not like they are any better off than other women’s groups. I would say they would be one of the most desperate.

Some of their daily problems include, feeding their children. Often children go with out meals, they are all peasants, so if it isn’t raining, there isn’t food. The clothing their children have is often, thread barren, full of holes and, unable to be cleaned properly,(no soaps). Then once their clothes are completely useless, where are they supposed to get new clothes, and how can they pay? They don’t have blankets for their children, so the mothers said that, often at night they take off their dress and give it to their children to keep them warm at night. If their child gets sick it is an hours walk to the hospital. Education for their child often is not as much of a worry for their husband they say and it is them who ends up working and sacrificing to try to cover the fees for their child. To go to school you need fees, books, and uniform. All cost money, which they do not have.

So starting next week, I am going to talk with them. I want them to keep their initial motivation and their faith in God and not me. So I definitely do not want to start until we have a common respect in each other and agree to work together equally. I hope to start with sewing machines. I plan to bring them in and then bring a teacher in to train them. This will be able to help them with clothing their children, long term, and also it can be a money making source. Then after Christmas I am going to be bringing livestock in. I want to start with chickens, because chickens in Africa do not have to be put in a coup and you get the initial benefits of eggs. The chickens here are survivors, they run around the village free all day, and then at night they know where they live, and they just go home when it starts to get dark. I don’t know much about chickens in Canada, but that impressed me, smart chickens in Uganda. Then I want to start goats so that, they think long term, so that they can breed them and are able to sell them, themselves. I also want to bring in a cow and calf. This will provide, milk for them, which they can not afford other wise. They can also sell the milk. I also have plans to bring in a lady to teach weaving. There seems to be more of a market for that than some other crafts. This is what I am working with right now. It is a work in progress; it is going to be a more long term program. The goal is that in the end they will be able to sustain it without having to have their hand held."

During this time of year as we transition from giving thanks to giving gifts, may we keep in mind the impact our giving can have when we think and love beyond ourselves and our own. If any of you can think of a way you can help Terra, let me know and Ill help you get connected.

No comments:

Locations of visitors to this page